Winston-Salem, NC - Wake Forest (4-4, 2-4 ACC) nearly matched No. 13 Clemson (7-1, 4-1 ACC) stop for stop defensively before the Tigers blew their lead out to a 35-point advantage in the second quarter on the way to a 42-13 win over the Demon Deacons.
"Our issue's big plays," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said. "I thought we played the running game great today. I thought we corralled that pretty good. Some of the throws were throws that the ball was in the air long enough for us to get there. I really think [in] the first half we underestimated their foot-speed."
"One of the things that was really disappointing was the fumble and the short score. If we go in [to halftime down] 28-7 and then when we score now we're 28-13. We missed the extra point, but now you're [in] a two-score game and there's a little more energy, a little bit more enthusiasm, so the short field was the hardest one I think, but again big throws got us."
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd completed 27-38 passes for a school record 428 yards (previously owned by Charlie Whitehurst) and five touchdowns (all in the first half) to no interceptions.
"Tajh was just lights out," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "He got a little sloppy in the third quarter, but [was] really just lights out. I think he set a school record for passing yards and maybe everybody will quit asking about Sammy Watkins now. He's played four and a half games now and I think he set the school record for receiving yards tonight. He had a great game tonight and it was great to see him have some big plays."
Watkins finished with eight receptions for 202 yards and a touchdown. He caught three passes for at least 50 yards or more, including a long of 61 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter.
"I think it was a combination … a couple of times it was safeties and a couple of times corners," Grobe said. "And you know what happens sometimes you give up a big play or two and it kind of gets everybody kind of spooky back there and then you end up giving up a couple of more by not playing real aggressively, but I think Watkins is pretty good and [DeAndre] Hopkins is pretty good and there's some good receivers over there running and catching the football."
Wake welcomed wide receiver Michael Campanaro back to the lineup, who made six receptions for 52 yards in his return to action after a two-game absence due to a broken right hand. Terence Davis was Wake Forest's leading receiver, as he pulled in seven balls for 84 yards; however, it was Tommy Bohanon who caught both of Tanner Price's touchdown passes.
"One was just a 15-yard out route down on the goal-line, so that was just an out route that the linebacker had me in my man-coverage, and I kind of just gave him a little inside move and then broke out and Tanner hit me with a ball perfectly," Bohanon said.
While they were nice plays both scores proved to inconsequential as the offense failed to keep the defense off the field. Price was under duress much of the game, as the Tigers sacked him five times and hurried him twice.
Though the Demon Deacons struggled to defend the pass they did pressure Boyd consistently, sacking him three times.
In last season's 31-28 loss to the Tigers in Death Valley the Deacs forced three turnovers, but were unable to cause any this time around.